In your corner
Throughout your journey with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC), there are many people and resources available to help, including:
You have a whole cast of colorful characters behind you—each of whom has a unique role to play in your battle against metastatic CRC. Let’s get a roll call.
Your primary treatment team may include an oncologist, a primary care physician, nurse navigator*, and a nurse.
*Not every facility offers a nurse navigator—or they may be called by a different name. Ask your doctor if you have access to a nurse navigator.
But the list doesn’t end there. Your team may also include such healthcare professionals as a radiologist, gastroenterologist, dietitian or nutritionist care coordinator, reimbursement specialist, or social worker. PHEW, that’s a whole bunch of people.
Considering adding a new member to your treatment team? It’s important to find doctors who are the right fit for you and what you’re looking to get out of treatment. If you’re interested in finding a specialist, use the Find a Cancer Doctor tool from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
It’s worth the reminder: your loved ones are there for you. This might include your family, friends, colleagues, or even your neighbors. Anyone whose life you’ve touched is in this right alongside you. But sometimes it can be hard to talk about your condition. Below are some helpful tips that can help you have that conversation:
- Remember, only you can decide when it is the right time to tell your friends and family. When you do, think about how much you want to share. Different people may need different amounts of information.
- Talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling. It may be difficult, but it’s good to share any feelings you might have, such as anger, anxiety, or sadness. And if you’re not ready, support groups can also lend an ear.
- Talk to your friends and family about how they’re feeling. Asking them about their thoughts can help them know they can talk openly. But if you think their feelings will overwhelm you, it’s also okay to set boundaries and guide the conversation to what you are comfortable discussing.
- Some people might have a hard time handling the news. It could affect your relationship, but don’t take that to mean that your friend or family member doesn’t care about you. Everyone has their own way of dealing with a tough time.
- The most important thing: find what works for you. Maybe you want to keep others involved and informed because your loved ones give you strength. Maybe that’s not the kind of relationship you and your family or friends have. Everyone’s different in his or her approach.
One way to find support is through others who have been through this as well. Colorectal cancer organizations are available to help connect you with other patients.
Your experience has power, too. Share your personal cancer experience with other people living with colorectal cancer through the Cancer Experience Registry.
Lilly has been dedicated to helping people living with cancer for more than 50 years. If you have questions, call The Lilly Answers Center (1-800-LillyRx, or 1-800-545-5979).
Although we won't be able to replace the advice of your healthcare provider, we'll do our best to help you.